Spinning the Supreme Court

Posted on July 29, 2005
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Courts need judges, law books, and maybe a few gavels. But slick public relations campaigns?

Arizona Supreme Court chief justice Ruth McGregor contends that "If the judicial branch is not well or fully understood, and it is not by many, then we need to ask ourselves what we need to do to change the way that we communicate about the courts."

The solution to Arizonans' apparent lack of understanding is a public relations campaign the court calls "Good to Great." To implement the campaign, the court has signed a contract worth up to $108,000 per year with a high-powered public relations firm. The initial work order directs the firm to "develop a new look and functionality" for the court website, and to "develop a communication plan to introduce" the Good to Great strategy to the public and "specific stakeholders groups."

It would seem that it is the court, not citizens, that doesn't understand its role. Arizona expects the state supreme court to interpret the finer points of law and issue well-reasoned judgements that uphold the state constitution.

Spending taxpayer dollars on public relations campaigns is simply poor judgment.

Key Links:
-Turoff: "High court's high-end PR"
-Arizona Supreme Court
-Study: Judging the Justices

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